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Foundations of Drawing
Steven Carrelli, Lelde Kalmite, Todd Serrano, Laurie Shaman

On Display: May 10, 2013 – July 8, 2013

Artist Reception Friday May 17, 2013 5-7pm 5-7pm
Fermilab Art Gallery, Wilson Hall

Artists Statements

Steven Carrelli

What do we make, and what endures?

For the past several years I have worked on a series of drawings in which common and disposable objects share an invented space with more exalted and ostensibly permanent ones. The strained juxtapositions of divergent subjects and the resultant disjunctive spaces are an attempt to give visual form to a variety of complex relationships between the presumed stability of history and the temporality - even disposability - of contemporary experience and production. Paper bags, cardboard boxes, dustpans and folding chairs are rendered as weighty and monumental, while comparatively permanent architectural subjects are depicted in a weightless language of pure contour line. The optical veracity of linear perspective is alternately employed and disrupted, and large areas are left blank to function simultaneously as space and flat surface. The resulting drawings are both spatial and emphatically two-dimensional. These contradictory spaces and strategies of representation emphasize temporary and shifting relationships while fixing them into a still image. They are drawings that reflect upon visual experience as a locus of conceptual inquiry. In them, I am asking a variety of questions about cultural identity, permanence and temporality, and our shared relationship to history.
What does it mean to revisit history? To learn from it? Inherit it? We look at fragments left behind by a past that we understand only in part and, even then, from a great distance. We inevitably see in them the mirror of ourselves and our experience. Whoever made them and for whatever reason, we adopt the ruins and the relics as our own and impress them into service as our guides, our muses, our models, our landmarks and our standards. We study the past to see ourselves and our present time more clearly, but there is little certainty that we understand any of these things fully. Both past and present are exotic and familiar at the same time. These landmarks of our history and our present - our history-in-the-making - are the shifting points of a provisional compass that we constantly reinterpret in order to find our bearings.
These drawings are a series of iterations of that provisional compass.

To see more of Steven's artwork

Lelde Alida Kalmite

Like many other painters, I have also an interest in, and love of, drawing. In recent years I have attempted to bring these two interests closer together and to incorporate some of the organic elements of my drawings into the more geometric and minimalist approach of my paintings. Although the paintings express a sombre and ominous view of our ecological situation, the garden drawings could be described as my personal celebration of the beauty of the natural world, serving as a counterpoint to the paintings.
I draw without preliminary sketches, spontaneously, in ink, without corrections. If mistakes occur, they are allowed to remain, or the drawing is discarded. For each drawing that I have retained, perhaps ten have been discarded. This practice is related to one of the basic ideas of abstract expressionism - the importance of spontaneity and subconscious influences released in the act of making art. For me, this spontaneity is nevertheless grounded in many years of practice in representational drawing.
The drawings are generally not complete - i.e. completely filling the available space of the paper all the way to the edge. I prefer that the drawing calls attention to the fact that it is a sign on paper interpretable as an image, as opposed to being a "window on the world", or a "picture of" something.
I strive to make the line in each drawing identical to the subject, rather than a depicter of the subject. This is a rather subtle distinction, but I have observed it in Japanese prints, in which, for example, diagonal lines become rain or a curved line becomes a wave. It is this calling attention to the metaphorical nature of art making that I find exciting and appealing. A perfect balance between the abstract and the real is very difficult to achieve, and happens only rarely in my drawing.

To see more of Lelde's artwork

Todd Serrano

Todd Serrano is an emerging artist whose subject matter is predominantly cityscapes and landscapes derived from his surroundings in addition to travels across the country. His primary mediums are acrylic, graphite, pen and ink, watercolors, oil painting and pastels.
Mr. Serrano earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. After graduating in 1997 he continued to study the creative arts in Europe. His studies included drama and poetry in Oxford, England and plein air drawing and painting in Florence, Italy. Mr. Serrano has been represented by and shown in galleries in the Midwest.

To see more of Todd's artwork

Laurie Shaman

I make tabletop and wall pieces in porcelain or stoneware using slab-built techniques, with an eye on developing shapes and contours that best provide the surface for my hand drawn imagery. These forms thus become a canvas for depicting scenes that combine my interests in travel, art history and the natural world.
The vases, vessels and wall pieces I make today evolved naturally over time from a strong foundation producing utilitarian pottery, as well as having an ongoing practice of creating works on paper with a variety of drawing techniques. These once separate pursuits have been the basis of my ceramic work, and combined, produce for me the greatest satisfaction: merging the painted surface to three-dimensional form.

To see more of Laurie 's artwork


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last modified 5/1/2013   

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